At Hampshire Ecological Services, a proven track record in ecology applied to consultancy is essential. Our staff have contributed to numerous local and national initiatives and our Principal Ecologist has published numerous papers, articles and notes in ecological periodicals and co-authored a publication on designating sites for herpetofauna. However, perhaps the most significant publication is the Vegetative Key to the British Flora (Poland & Clement 2009), which has extended the survey season for botanical and detailed habitat assessment.
It is often simpler and easier to ID a plant from vegetative characters than from flowers alone and the keys work just as well on plants in flower. Conventional field guides only work when you have flowers or fruit – something all ecologists find frustrating when undertaking surveys. The Vegetative Key is an outstanding innovation. It enables the user to easily identify over 3,000 native and alien plants without flowers or fruit, with nothing more than a hand lens. Selected flower and fruit characters, particularly ones not readily available in other Floras, have been included, especially in the comparatively few groups where they are essential (so you shouldn’t have to take several books into the field).
It also contains a good selection of line illustrations as well as some colour photographs. The key is an essential identification aid, invaluable to all ecological consultants and students. Because it makes full use of lightweight but high-quality paper, it is remarkably portable considering the completeness of the information it contains.
Now in its second edition, the reviews speak for themselves…